Boys Tennis: Oak Park-River Forest tries to overcome losses
Updated: March 26, 2012 2:35PM
Oak Park-River Forest has finished third at state in back-to-back seasons, but adding another trophy might be a more difficult task this spring
The Huskies lost top singles player Jake Wilson and two doubles players in Devin Jones and Eric Brunyseels to graduation.
The only sure thing for OPRF going into this season is the promotion of doubles player Luke Trinka into the No. 1 singles spot for his senior season. Trinka’s sister, Tess, was one of the girls team’s top singles players in the state meet in the fall.
Trinka has experience playing both singles and doubles last season, but paired with Jones to finish in fourth place in doubles. Trinka will try to replace Wilson, who reached the state singles quarterfinals, but did not place in the top six.
OPRF’s other returning singles state qualifier, junior Jeremy Dixon, will likely play No. 1 doubles with senior Tim McAdams. McAdams and Brunyseels were sixth in the state meet.
With top-six finishes from both doubles teams, the Huskies racked up enough points for a state tournament trophy, but could not top second-place Deerfield or perennial favorite New Trier.
“We all ready know we lost a lot of guys, but we’re excited this year,” OPRF coach John Morlidge said.
Morlidge liked what he saw in one dual meet in the first week when Trinka took Deerfield’s Jason Brown, who was third in the state, to three sets before losing.
The Huskies host their own invitational Saturday using courts at OPRF, Taylor Park and Keystone Park. OPRF will compete at Glenbrook South in a dual meet April 3. The Titans are considered one of the challengers for the state title this season. The Huskies meet West Suburban Silver favorite Hinsdale Central April 12 in Hinsdale.
“Obviously, if we do our best we have a shot into the top five (at state),” Morlidge said. “Maybe we can squeak into third.”
OPRF’s No. 2 doubles team of Mitch Rasley and D.J. Arends saw plenty of time on the varsity last season, but did not make the postseason lineup.
The top newcomers include Fred Gibson, Jonah Phillion, Joe Charbel and sophomore Declan Sieskias.
“Our top six are really strong, but may be not as strong as last year,” Morlidge said. “You never know. They work hard. We’re a deep team; a lot of our kids are juniors.”